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About Anthropology

Are you interested in learning more about diverse cultures, religions, and worldviews?

If so, Anthropology may be the program for you.

Anthropology at the University of Northern Colorado will provide you with the knowledge of how, when and where human life arose, and why cultures have evolved along varied pathways.

Why Study Anthropology?

  • You want to be a force of positive change in the world
  • You are interested in the human potential for peace
  • You are curious about human nature and culture
  • You are fascinated by different world views
  • You want to know more about the ancient past
  • You want to satisfy a curiosity about where we came from and where we are going
  • You want to celebrate humanity in all of its diversity

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A little more about Anthropology at UNC

  • We have about 84 majors
  • We have 6 full time anthropology faculty positions and 3 adjunct (part-time) faculty
  • We have an active, undergraduate Anthropology Club
  • We have a well-equipped archaeology and forensics lab

A lot more about Anthropology at UNC

The University of Northern Colorado offers a B.A. in Anthropology with an Interdisciplinary emphasis. The degree is designed to ground our students in the four-field approach to anthropology by requiring 30 credit hours of core courses in cultural anthropology (including linguistics), biological anthropology, archaeology, medical anthropology and applied anthropology.

Additionally, our majors will select a 21 credit hour related "complement" from courses across the university curriculum (including additional anthropology classes if they choose). This interdisciplinary complement allows students to tailor their interests and job aspirations to their course of study. For example, a student interested in pursuing a career in archaeology might take courses in GIS (Geographic Information Systems), whereas a student interested in working in a museum might select art and history classes. A minor is not required.

We also offer two minor tracks, one in general anthropology and one with a multicultural focus.

We have approximately 84 majors. The small size of our program is its strength. With six full time positions (two in cultural, two in biological, one in archaeology, and one generalist), we are able to provide an intimate and stimulating academic environment as well as one-on-one advising. Our faculty members are dedicated to interactive teaching and open-minded critical thinking. Courses blend lecture with hands-on laboratories, original research in the community, and field experiences. We offer an archaeology field school every summer.

Introductory classes (of about 60 students) provide a framework for understanding the discipline. Many upper division classes are conducted as seminars with lively discussions of readings covering topics ranging from the newest advances in evolutionary theory to the impact of religious intolerance in the 21st century.

The archaeology lab includes artifact collections, high-end computing supporting ArcGIS, SPSS, and other analytic software. The program's paleo-environmental laboratory is equipped to gather and analyze data for reconstructing climatic and ecological change. The anthropology teaching laboratory houses fossil casts and skeletal collections for teaching forensic anthropology and human paleontology. Cultural anthropology classes provide opportunities for fieldwork in local and Native American communities.

We have an active Anthropology Club which gives students opportunities to get to know each other, go on field trips to museums, and otherwise engage in the exciting anthropological discourse which is perfect for students seeking a way to see the world as opposed to simply a course of study

You can prepare for careers by completing internships with museums, forensic labs, archaeology consulting firms, and government agencies. Indeed, students with bachelor's degrees in anthropology find employment in international development, museums, social services, public health, ethno-tourism, historic preservation, cultural resource management, and many other areas in the public and private sectors.

Graduate training at the master's and/or doctoral level is necessary to become a professional anthropologist.


The mission of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Northern Colorado is to advance the study and practice of anthropology by offering a comprehensive and coherent undergraduate program in which students gain theoretical and methodological understanding of anthropology's many sub-fields, including cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, linguistics, medical and applied anthropology.

The mission is actualized through the following goals:

  • Promoting critical thinking skills about and broad understanding of the range of human cultures, past and present, through hands-on interactive learning, undergraduate research, field experiences, and engagement with the local Colorado community and beyond; 
  • Maintaining active, high-quality faculty research agendas and disseminating results to professional and public audiences; and 
  • Modeling excellence in student-centered teaching and service, in accordance with UNC’s teacher-scholar model.


In today's world people are more interconnected than at any time in history.  This state of the world places the field of anthropology at the center of a well-rounded education that works to provide students with a global perspective that they feel empowers them in a way that facilitates academic and personal growth. Anthropology offers a unique understanding of cultural processes and cultural contact, both past and present. At UNC students of anthropology develop thinking and research skills that dovetail with all academic and professional fields.  Fundamentally, anthropology students learn to understand human behavior and how and why it changes over time. This understanding is put to good use in community and civic engagement projects, both locally and abroad, and prepares students for professional or graduate work after graduation.